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Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Tony Monaco: Taking Jazz Organ to the Summit

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Columbus, Ohio native Tony Monaco is primed and ready to place jazz organ in a whole new spotlight. Although he has been a playing musician for most of his life, it has been during the past sixteen years that he has made the biggest strides as an artist. A gifted educator with a unique approach to instruction, Monaco recently sat down to discuss his past experiences and to promote a major event that he has spearheaded with the help of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Roebke Octet: Cinema Spiral

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If entropy is a scientific theory that describes how all things in nature tend towards a gradual decline and disorder, then Jason Roebke's Octet is the anti-entropy. His second octet release Cinema Spiral and the previous High/Red/Center (Delmark, 2014) make order out of the impression of chaos. Such is the enticement of jazz. It always has been. Ever since Louis Armstrong diverted from the sheet music, great jazz musicians, improvisers, leave the score behind, or use ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Ponzol and Abbey Rader: It's Time

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Reedman Peter Ponzol not only designs and makes unique mouthpieces for various saxophones he is also an imaginative improviser with a singular style. He and intrepid drummer Abbey Rader have a long history of collaboration spanning over four decades. On their 2016 It's Time they perform 11 intimate, original duets that are full of sublime mysticism and showcase individual virtuosity and seamless camaraderie.Rader masterfully blends sparse chimes and reverberating cymbals with silent pauses as he sets a Zen ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fidel Morales: Omío

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There is a saying, that Cuba and Puerto Rico are two wings from the same dove. This could not be more evident than in the musical collaborations and cultural exchanges which have historically united both islands, and their people. Fidel Morales is a native Cuban who since 2006 has secured the drum chair in the Jazz and Afro- Caribbean Music Program at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, a prestigious position, in an island replete with drummers and percussionists.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Prasanna: All Terrain Guitar

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As a solo artist, Prasanna (Raga Metal Conversations, Raga Bop Trio) doesn't record that often, but when he does, it's usually an impressive musical statement, incited by his ferocious licks and unique convergence of Indian Carnatic music with a Western muse. For example, check out his previous outing, which is an East-West tribute to Jimi Hendrix --Electric Ganesha Land (2006). With an all-star lineup featuring trumpeter Dave Douglas, pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonists, David Binney and Rudresh Mahanthappa performing on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bounce Trio: Contrasts

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At the heart of things, the Bounce Trio's Contrasts is a set of good time organ jazz, coming out of the tradition of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, three organists who emerged in the 50s and 60s, riding a highly engaging urban soul jazz wave. But in a genre that seems more resistant to change than most, organist Matthieu Marthouret--leader of the Bounce Trio, based in France--has steered the group's sound into modern territory. Joined by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francisco Mela & The Crash Trio: Fe

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Since departing Cuba to study at Berklee in 2000, drummer Francisco Mela has been on a meteoric trajectory throughout the jazz dominion. In 2005 he joined the Joe Lovano Quartet, and in 2009 the McCoy Tyner Trio, all the while releasing three critically acclaimed albums as leader. Fe is his first venture with The Crash Trio, a dynamic showcase of poly-rhythmic drumming and propulsive modernism. Fe translates into faith, and this is Mela's homage to his late parents, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry: Proximity

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The story behind this duo setting by legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille and venerable tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry was initiated by Max Koslow who routinely attends New York City's fabled Village Vanguard venue on Thursday evenings. After hearing the twosome perform, he proposed they record a set in the studio for his nascent Brain Schism Productions. Indeed, the artists' synergy comes into full swing from the onset for a production that clocks in at 38-minutes. McHenry's full-bodied tenor sound ...


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